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Stories spread hope by moving people
beyond conflicts to see solutions

Hope in Fig Tree stories comes from people going the extra mile, stepping out of their comfort zones, being present with people who suffer, and being equipped to challenge policies that reinforce redistribution of wealth to the already wealthy.

Mainstream media recently stirred massive action by their extensive coverage about the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile—inspiring people to give and go to share in the healing. 

Faith and nonprofit communities were there before and during the quakes.  They will continue to be there in the years to come, rebuilding buildings and lives.  Hope is about perseverance and risk.

In the mix of media, we also see movies that challenge us with stories of people working for justice.  We hear investigative interviews that help us discern nuances on public issues and life.  Media have a powerful influence.  We are one part of the media picture, doing what we can on a regional level to inform, inspire and involve people. 

We in the media have a responsibility, because what we convey creates perceptions that become social norms.  Our attitudes and actions are influenced by polls about trends, by human conflicts and struggles, and by whether we feel our lives and words can make a difference.

We share stories of people who care and act because of their faith and values. 

Being caught up in the world of people who believe, care and act, I was amazed at a recent Parade story saying that America is in a “volunteering and giving boom.”  The article said public service is “now a way of life for Americans of all ages.” 

Where have they been?  The “boom” is ongoing and is the substance of 26 years of Fig Tree stories about people who care, find creative solutions, and risk their comfort and security to make a difference.

The Fig Tree’s message is that media-generated or real trends that subtly influence our thinking are not our limit.  There are many everyday folks who are doing everyday caring, motivated and held to task by their faith and values, people who are working on solutions—aware of and motivated to care for people in their times of suffering and struggles.

Scripture says, “Faith, hope and love abide, but the greatest is love.”  Our stories are about people who put their love into action.  Loving action inspires others to hope and renews faith so we persevere against the odds and social norms.

Stories of hope are not wishful thinking or pie in the sky.  They help us see the big picture, giving us courage to persist in challenging injustice, war, greed, corruption, divisions and brokenness.

Hope is faith that our lives make a difference, our words can change lives and our stories can empower others, so  we can find solutions to impossible problems and we can achieve justice, peace and sustainable ways of living on this planet we share.

Hope persuades us to continue efforts to overcome violence, inequity and poverty.

People seek solutions, be it one life at a time or through solutions that reach around the nation or the globe.  We are interconnected.  There is hope in our connection—and in our awareness of our connection.

The Fig Tree is aware of the conflicts and stereotypes many dwell on.  We begin there, drawing out stories that put pieces together in a different way.

We also seek to connect people in faith, nonprofit and wider communities to be aware of the many congregations and organizations serving people in the region through publishing 10,000 copies of the Directory of Congregations and Community Resources with Community Colleges of Spokane Headstart ECEAP. 

We publish stories on the web to reach more people.  We recently shifted to a web host that gives more accurate count—63,000 hits in February.  Searching on Google, you may find a Fig Tree article.  On our website, we have added a search engine so visitors can find articles by topic and names, as well as by date.  

Mary Stamp - Editor